- 3 billion pairs of DNA encode the human genome.
- The human genome should not be viewed as a static phenomenon, what we today is a product of endless changes in the gene pool.
- Red blood cells have a lifespan of 120 days, and if it was not for the information found in the genome, they could not regenerate.
Imagine an immensely complicated code that contains all the information about a human being. Our DNA, which is short for deoxyribonucleic acid, creates this code that we now know as the human genome.
The human genome contains around 3 billion pairs of DNA. That DNA is what creates the chromosomes who are responsible for constituting our organism. Inside the human genome, scientists can also find information about 25,000 genes, which are located in the so-called coding regions of the DNA.
The 3-million-pair code of our DNA makes the chromosomes, and there are 23 different pairs of those that write up our human code. There are 24 distinguishable types of chromosomes, 22 are known as autosomal, and the other two are known as the X and Y chromosomes, who are responsible when it comes to determining the biological sex of a person.
The chromosomes vary in size and are named with numbers from 1 to 22, with each following being the smaller than the previous one. The somatic cells, meaning all the cells that have the nucleus and can be part of the code, constitute a total of 46 chromosomes. We take 22 from each of our parents, the X chromosome from our mother, and finally, either an X or Y chromosome from our father.
The DNA constructs something that is known as polymers. These polymers then create sequences that are technically written as code. In a nutshell, no pun intended, each cell of the human organism is constituted around the G-A-T-C base. Guanine, Adenine, Thymine, and Cytosine are the base that creates cells, which then create chromosomes.
Genome And Cell Regeneration
The human genome and the information that it contains is vital in every sense of the word. Without it, our cells would not know how to regenerate themselves. For example, the red blood cells in our body have a rather short life period of only 120 days, which means we need them to renew, so we can continue, well, being alive. The sequence of the polymers has all the necessary info our cells need to know to replicate again.
One thing to know is that no two persons on this planet share the same genome. We do not know about other planets, yet. The only exception is identical twins (also known as monozygotic twins). Generally speaking, the overall picture of the human genome is not a static phenomenon. Changes in the human genome happen, some being more beneficial for our kind, others not so much.
The genome that we have and know about today is ‘’just’’ a result of an endless game of genes fighting for their place, basically forming the modern human. All the diseases and genetic mutations, all the variations we have when it comes to our physical appearance - it is all there, contained in the human genome.
The Decoding Will Continue
Understanding how the human genome is constructed and what kind of information it carries creates massive interest among the scientific community. Over the last two decades, knowledge of the human genome has influenced and enriched many fields of study - medicine, forensics, and even anthropology.
Painting a picture of a human genome unveils many stories that explain the evolution of humankind. A critical project in this field is known as the Human Genome Project, which technically completed the code of human DNA in 2003. This project is considered vital in revolutionizing the ways humankind will fight diseases that caused problems in recent history.